Topographic distribution of the 40 Hz auditory evoked-Related potential in normal and aged subjects

Blake W. Johnson*, Harold Weinberg, Urs Ribary, Douglass O. Cheyne, Raymond Ancill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Galambos, Makeig and Talmachoff (1981) described what they called the 40 Hz event-related potential (ERP). This steady-state response is an EEG following response to repetitive auditory stimulation which becomes sinusoidal in form and maximal in amplitude at rates between 35 and 45 Hz. The present study was designed to examine the scalp topography of the 40 Hz ERP in order to complement previous magnetoencephalographic studies which implicate auditory cortex in the generation of the response. In addition, this study was designed to collect normative data on an aged sample in order to assess the effects of aging on the response. 40 Hz ERP's were recorded from a group of seven audiometrically and neurologically normal elderly subjects (mean age = 69.6 years) and a younger group of five normal adults (mean age = 38.0 years), using 1000 Hz tones presented binaurally at 40 per second. A 21 channel recording system was used to obtain a comprehensive picture of the scalp distribution of the response. Recorded ERP's were Fourier transformed to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio. No significant differences were found in phase or amplitude of the 40 Hz ERP between the two age groups, indicating that the normal aging process does not have an effect on this response. Topographic maps of the 40 Hz ERP showed reversals of electrode potential in temporal regions, supporting an interpretation of bilateral sources in temporal cortex. The data presented in this study complement previous studies of the 40 Hz event-related magnetic field and support the position that temporal cortex is involved in the generation of the response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Topography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • 40 Hz ERP
  • Aging audition
  • Event-related potential
  • Topographic Mapping


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